Joël was born into a family of food lovers. His great grandfather was a chef in Corsica, his father is a tofu maker, and Joel's mother always cooked all their family meals from scratch. He began apprenticing in restaurant kitchens at age 17 and moved to Montreal where he often held two jobs at the same time. At 21, Joël was mentored by a chef from the Japanese embassy who was hired to train him in sushi at Icho restaurant in Ottawa. in 2000, he was hired to open Kinki, a modern sushi restaurant back in his hometown of Ottawa. In 2009, Tannis Ling approached Joël with her concept of modern Chinese food and In January of 2010, Bao Bei opened its doors. It became an instant success, winning a series of awards, including Enroute Magazine's second best restaurant in Canada award. Joël continues to titillate the palates of Bao Bei costumers with his unique approach to Chinese cuisine.